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Campaigners welcome publication of the Bus Services Bill - "a new era for buses, but only if funding follows"

20 May 2016

Campaign for Better Transport responds to the publication today of the Government’s new Bus Services Bill which gives local authorities new powers to improve bus services.

James MacColl, Head of Campaigns, Campaign for Better Transport said:

“Buses have long been the neglected form of transport, and this Bill starts to put that right.

"We welcome the Bill as it will give local authorities and the new mayors more powers to plan and manage local bus services, bringing real benefit to local communities. This should allow integrated services with simple, smart ticketing to become the norm. We want to ensure that the Bill helps people and communities in rural areas as well as in cities - they have been hit hardest by local funding cuts to supported bus services.  

"The introduction of new requirements for operators and franchising authorities to release open data on routes, timetables, punctuality and fares, and the new powers for integrated ticketing schemes, will also make using the bus much easier for passengers and give car users a real and affordable alternative.

“However, it is critical that funding follows the Bill, and that councils and mayors have the funding needed to make these new powers work. We need to see a national strategy for buses and coaches with long term funding assured, as now happens with roads, railways, cycling and walking.”

ENDS
For further information please contact Richard Watkins on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773 468 or ri
chard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Read the Department for Transport’s Bus Services Bill overview here.
  • Read Campaign for Better Transport’s Bus Services Bill media briefing here
  • The authorities which have so far agreed devolution deals with the Government which will include powers to franchise bus services are: Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, West Midlands, West of England CA, Cornwall, North East, Tees Valley, Sheffield City Region, Greater Lincolnshire, East Anglia CA
  • View Campaign for Better Transport’s interactive map showing the scale of cuts to supported bus services across England and Wales here.
  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).